In both “Black Elk” and “Young Goodman Brown”, the main character’s beliefs are displayed through their perception on nature. Each story depicts separate cultures; Puritanism in “Young Goodman Brown” and the Native American culture demonstrated in “Black Elk”. The main difference between these two cultures revolves around the basic beliefs in which they are structured. The fundamental faith of Puritanism renders on the idea of the world’s continuous progression; whereas, the Native American viewpoint on nature illustrates a focal recognition of the never ending cycle of life. In both stories, nature plays a crucial role as it causes both main characters to reflect on their society and beliefs. In “Young Goodman Brown”, the journey into the forest in which Goodman Brown partakes, causes him to discover the devilish qualities existing in human nature, while in “Black Elk”, Black Elk’s spirituality allows him to recognize the flaws within himself and everything around him.
Black Elk’s view of the world around him portrays his recognition and personal belief of the connection which the forest creates among all people. He initially recognizes the beauty in the world, but once the white people come and destroy his homeland, the beauty is no longer visible. Black Elk notices a land stripped of its greatness, only left as a flat land lacking purpose. For Native Americans, the land that they thrive upon not only serves as a source of shelter, but also a source of life. The land connects them to all parts of the world, “I was still on my bay horse, and once more I felt the riders of the west, the north, the east, and the south, behind me in formation, and we were going east.”(BE1) His fellow brethren travel the same direction regardless of their initial home and common roots.
Young Goodman Brown portrays a surprising amount of fear prior to his journey, as well as his encounter with the devil. He views his path into the forest as a place of possible danger, “He...
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